Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 23rd Aug 2012 12:48 UTC
In the News "We all know about the gadgets that get showered with constant praise - the icons, the segment leaders, and the game changers. Tech history will never forget the Altair 8800, the Walkman, the BlackBerry, and the iPhone. But people do forget - and quickly - about the devices that failed to change the world: the great ideas doomed by mediocre execution, the gadgets that arrived before the market was really ready, or the technologies that found their stride just as the world was pivoting to something else." I was a heavy user of BeOS, Zip drives, and MiniDisc (I was an MD user up until about 2 years ago). I'm starting to see a pattern here.
Permalink for comment 531905
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
OS/2
by fretinator on Thu 23rd Aug 2012 14:08 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

For me, the great disappointment will always be OS/2. I loved the power of OS/2. However, the missteps are legendary:

1. Initially, OS/2 arrived with requirements that far exceeded the PC's that were being sold. It required 16MB of RAM at a time when PC's were being sold with 2-4MB of RAM. Only a select few could run it.

2. Usability - in my mind OS/2 users remind of Linux users today (of which I am one). They take great pride in tweaking their OS, and don't mind hand-editting config files, etc. However, this often leaves the average user helpless. For Linux today, this isn't that much of an issue, but it always was for OS/2. Often, your only choice was to wade through the giant config.sys file hand editing driver settings. The classic example was adding a sound card. The GUI didn't change the sound card when you went through the sound configuration steps - it just added more lines to config.sys. I remember the steps I had to go through to get my CD-Rom working, the sound card, video above vanilla VGA, etc. I know Windows 95 wasn't perfect, but when I popped in the CD, after the install everthing was working.

3. Marketing - oh my! The marketing for OS/2 Warp was astoundingly bad. THe commercials were confusing. The best example was a large banner at LAX that said something like "OS/2 Warp blows your hard drive away". Is that good, is that bad? Is OS/2 a virus. People had no clue.

Nevertheless, I still miss the days of having a DOS 5 window, a DOS 6 Window, an OS/2 DOS window, a native OS/2 app and a Windows 3.1 app all open at the same time. It was a remarkable OS with remarkable potential. Such a shame. I know it is still available as EComStation (I assume they had a discount on buzz words at the time), but I have never been able to afford it. Darn!

Reply Score: 6